Today, the 5th class of The Roger Ailes Apprenticeship Program graduated after a year of mentoring within Fox News. CEO Ailes created the program to provide minorities getting into media the opportunity to gain special experience while working at the network and to receive guidance from experts in the field. Past graduates have gone on to successful positions within the company or have left to work other types of media jobs.
TVNewser had the opportunity to speak with Erika Garcia, a digital librarian for FNC, who graduated today. Garcia began working at FNC four years ago in the tape library. It was a big year for her. During her time at Fox, she also worked toward a bachelor’s degree, which she earned from Queens College this May.
Garcia told us she had a monthly meeting with different executives and on-air talent as well as her mentor Palmer Yale, the Senior Manager of Digital Services for FNC and FBN. “During all these meetings, they bring up personal stories,” she said. “It was really nice to hear it from them. You always see them as big executives, so just to see the human side was nice.” Garcia added that the conversations were probably the most valuable of the experiences and were “a great networking opportunity.” She also received training in different areas of her own department as well as some outside ones, like media relations.
The first meeting was with Roger Ailes who sat Garcia and the apprentices down for lunch to discuss the program and relay some of his experiences. Beyond that, her most memorable interview was with Shepard Smith, “He’s my favorite TV news anchor. It was great to meet him.”
“The program is a great opportunity for minorities in this company,” she told us.
Garcia, Jessica Sanoh, Matt Egan and Chanelle Wright now bring the alumni total to 24. The next group of apprentices will be named in October.